The Altneuschul, Prague: Medieval Jewish Synagogue Architecture

Altneushul, Prague (photo: Øyvind Holmstad, CC BY-SA 3.0) The Old New Synagogue or Altneuschul, situated in Josefov, Prague, is Europe’s oldest active synagogue.[1] It is also the oldest surviving medieval synagogue of twin-nave design. By Dr. Carol Herselle Krinsky / 09.18.2017 Professor of Art History New York University In architecture, there is often a dominant mode of design in a given country or region at[…]

Disfigurement, Authority and the Law in Early Medieval Europe

A woodcut from 1598 in Pierre Boaistuau’s Histoires prodigieuses et memorables / Public Domain By Dr. Patricia Skinner / 12.22.2016 Professor of Early and Middle Medieval Europe Swansea University Introduction Here, the legal material is mined more deeply to define how injury was conceptualized, and how the ruler, whose laws ostensibly existed to prevent violence[…]

The Billingford Hutch and the Moonwort Fern – A Medieval Mystery Solved?

A heavy oak chest in the Parker Library (Corpus Christi College) was used to store objects left as collateral for loans of money. Its ironwork features the outline of a plant – but no-one knew why. Now a visitor to the Library may have unravelled the meaning of this decorative motif. 12.10.2017 A visitor to the Parker Library[…]

Medieval Monks and Alcohol

Pious drinking. Walter Dendy Sadler via Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Michael Foley / 11.17.2017 Associate Professor of Patristics Baylor University Each year the holidays bring with them an increase in both the consumption of alcohol and concern about drinking’s harmful effects. Alcohol abuse is no laughing matter, but is it sinful to drink and make merry, moderately and responsibly,[…]

How the Dead Danced with the Living in Medieval Society

Detail of figures from the Dance Macabre, Meslay-le-Grenet, from late 15th-century France. Ashby Kinch, CC BY By Dr. Ashby Kinch / 10.29.2017 Professor of English The University of Montana In the Halloween season, American culture briefly participates in an ancient tradition of making the world of the dead visible to the living: Children dress as skeletons, teens go[…]

Betwixt Nature and God Dwelt the Medieval ‘Preternatural’

Telling-tales; a comet above Augsburg in 1618. / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. Laura Bland / 10.30.2017 Visiting Assistant Professor in Medieval Studies University of Houston After Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the American pastor John Hagee became notorious for blaming the devastating storm on the ‘sins’ of the people of New Orleans. The outcry forced him[…]

Ancient and Medieval Philosophy: The Origin of Western Thought – Medieval Philosophy and Religion

Henricus de Alemannia with students in a medieval university, by Laurentius de Voltolina, second half 14th century / Kupferstichkabinett Berlin By Dr. Garth Kemerling / 11.12.2011 Professor of Philosophy Capella University Philosophy Pages Augustine Saint Augustine, by Phillipe de Champaigne, c.1650 / Los Angeles County Museum of Art Having devoted extensive attention to the development of philosophy among[…]

History and Architecture of the Basilica of San Clemente in Rome

The Basilica of San Clemente, Rome, church rebuilt 1099-1119 (mosaic 1130s) with eighteenth-century renovations (photo: Michael Foley, CC BY-NC-ND 2.0) By Dr. Diane Reilly / 06.14.2017 Associate Professor of Art History, Department Chair Indiana University A shrunken Rome By the twelfth century, the city of Rome was a shadow of its former, imperial Roman self.[…]

What Can We Learn from the Medieval Attitude to Pagans?

Dante and the Three Kingdoms by Domenico-di-Michelino / Wikimedia Commons By Dr. John Marenbon / 02.23.2016 Fellow, British Academy Senior Research Fellow, Trinity College, Cambridge Visiting Professor of Philosophy, Peking University, China In a world like that of mediaeval Christian Europe, where everyone was a religious believer, how was the moral standing of non-Christians to[…]

Medieval English National Identity

People in Medieval England, illustrated here by a section of the Bayeux Tapestry / The Bayeux Tapestry Museum, France By Dr. Robert Bartlet Emeritus Professor of History University of St. Andrews The East Asian Journal of British History 1 (2011), 1-12 Introduction “Articles of Union otherwise known as Treaty of Union”, 1707 / Parliament of[…]

‘Discarded History’ Exhibition Lifts the Lid on 1,000 Years of Medieval History

From the collection / Cambridge University Library Treasures from the world’s largest and most important collection of medieval Jewish manuscripts – chronicling 1,000 years of history in Old Cairo – have gone on display in Cambridge today for a six-month-long exhibition at Cambridge University Library. 04.27.2017 Discarded History: The Genizah of Medieval Cairo opens to[…]